INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana State Senator is going on active duty in the Navy but plans to keep his seat in the General Assembly.
Republican Jim Banks of Columbia City announced Tuesday that he will be sent to Afghanistan in September and will miss the 2015 session of the legislature.
He wants his wife Amanda to take over his role in the state Senate while he’s away. A 1971 state law that has never been used before makes that possible.
“Amanda and I and our three daughters are learning first hand about the sacrifice that so many thousands of families have made before us,” said Banks in a news conference on the Senate floor, “and gaining a new appreciation for those who have served.”
GOP precinct committeemen in the district would have to approve Amanda Banks as the replacement in a vote that will take place in November.
Even if someone else is chosen, Jim Banks will return to his seat when his active duty ends next April.
“We didn’t think it was right that a member of the legislature or anyone else would have to give up their job,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long. “They don’t have to do that in civilian life.”
Senator Banks will be first member of the legislature to make use of the law that applies only to elected officials.
Banks is running un-opposed in November’s election.